The most badly behaved countries online

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Picture: Microsoft and Statista

Cyber bullying - an insidious and highly prevalent form of abuse - is on the rise.

Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones was forced to remove herself from Twitter following a completely unacceptable campaign of sustained racial abuse.

Picture: (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty)


Microsoft recently launched the Digital Civility Index as a new way to measure people’s safety online, and to what extent they are exposed to risks.

They conducted a study of 17 countries, and posed a number of questions to two demographic groups: teenagers (13-17) and adults (18-74) about their perceptions of 17 online risks from four categories

The categories were: Behaviour, reputational, sexual and personal/intrusive.

Questions included:

  • When and how often have the risks occurred?
  • Which online risks have you and your close circle experienced? 

These were the top five risks experienced online:

  • Unwanted contact
  • Being treated mean
  • Trolling
  • Receiving unwanted sexts
  • Online harassment

Here's a table from Statista of the most, and least civil countries online, according to the 17 studied:



The UK was found to be the most civil country. Australia came in at second with a score of 51 per cent, followed by the US with 55 per cent.

The least civil country was South Africa, with a score of 78 per cent.

Russia and Mexico were on the lower end of the scale as well, with 74 and 76 per cent respectively. 

More: The most and least free countries mapped

More: This map shows what every country in the world is best at doing

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